Woot woot! As designers we're always looking for new materials to use in our collections and as a business with slow fashion at our core, we're on the hunt for fabrics that have a sustainability edge. Welcome Raw Assembly! We are very happy to meet you! It was the first trade show of its kind in these waters - a focus on showcasing sustainable materials that designers can access. YAY!
Along with the fabrics to touch and feel, there were some wonderful speakers talking about their adventures - Mel Tually of Ndless who has has been at the centre of Fashion Revolution Week since it started: Caroline Poiner of Artisans of Fashion, Amy Botta of Fairtrade Australia and Kimberly Bolton of Carapac.
Above you can see us playing with Caroline of Artisans of Fashion - we have surrounded ourselves in one of the beautiful hand woven curtains made from indigo. Caroline and her team work directly with local artisans in India, with an aim to support traditional arts, keep communities together and empower women. We are are thrilled to be working with Artisans of Fashion for our next collection.Pinatex
The plant based alternative to leather, Pinatex uses cellulose from the pineapple leaf fibre - the by-product of a pineapple harvest - to create a material with similar properties to animal hides and can be fashioned into bags, belts, shoes and jackets. The vision of Dr. Carmen Hijosa, Pinatex has embraced the principles of a Circular Economy, has a low environmental impact and works with communities in developing nations. It's a viable and scalable material that is winning fans all over the world.
Once upon a time, hemp fabric ruled the world - it was used for materials, rope, paper and oil. Then came cotton......and industrialisation and industrialists who invested big time in the cotton plant. Oh and a little thing called the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 that affectively outlawed this material.
But decades later people and (some) governments are waking up to the happy properties of hemp again. It grows like a weed and doesn't need as much land as cotton, it's also got natural pesticide so is not as needy for the chemical action, and it requires much less water to grow than cotton. Happy days!
Better news is that companies like Hemp Fortex are weaving it into soft, drapey fabrics that feel incredible on da bods. We are very excited about playing with this fabric for our next collection.
This is one of the oldest family owned companies still weaving in Germany. They use organic materials and had a gorgeous selection of silk and cotton laces. We loved the blue and white embroidered fabric - hmmmm hello summer!
Ohhh braids, trims and embroideries....ahhhhh happy heart. Botanica Tinctoria creates naturally dyed trimmings and threads - organic cottons are dyed with BioDye India using a closed looped process. So much so that at the end of its pretty life it can be returned to the earth through composting. Best news is that if you love sewing then you can grab yourself some of this joy - check em out!
A melting pot of sustainable finds!
Sustainable Sequin Company - like it sounds, sequins made from recycled materials.
Rehandle - a UK bag company that creates wallets and cardholders out of market waste, diverting it from landfill.
Panama Trimming - An Italian company creating eco friendly labels out of interesting vegan materials
Guppy Friend Washing Bag - the enemy of microplastics and the friend of the ocean. Wash your fleeces and synthetic clothing in this and it will capture the tiny threads that shed while washing and end up in our oceans.
Zips made from recycled PET - happy days as we need these to keep our pants up!